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Game Report: "Spirit of the Century" session run in Google+ Hangout

1338372776
Agemegos
KS Backer
I made a fourth attempt at running a session of my "Spirit of the Century" game using Roll20, this time using Google+ Hangouts rather than Tokbox, and this time it worked! Audio lag was slight enough that we were able to play, so we did not switch to another facility after a few minutes, but played all three-and-a-half hours in Roll20. Yay! Position doesn't matter much in Spirit of the Century , besides which Roll20s drawing tools are not usable enough for sketching maps on the fly so I didn't use the page for a map. Instead I laid it out as a triple character sheet, with each character in a column and a space at the bottom for Fate-Point tokens. This worked pretty well, but I think next time I will put just the characters' Aspects on the layout, and leave room for scene Aspects and for space to move Fate Point counters to indicate vanilla bonuses, minor Declarations, and powering Stunts. To keep track of Fate Points I make a token out of a picture of a poker chip, made three copies, assigned each copy to the control of a different player and placed it in a rectangle on the page assigned to his character, and then used copy-and-paste to make a sufficient number of duplicates of each. When a player spent a Fate Point I deleted one of his tokens, when he gained a Fate Point I copied one of his existing tokens and pasted it to give him another. Players, having control of their own poker chips, were able to move them from their stockpile area to different places on the layout to indicate different ways of spending the points. But they weren't able to delete them. It would have been handy to be able to duplicate a Fate Point token with a single command-D rather than copy it, paste it, find it, and then drag it. Next time I will create several different poker chip tokens of different colours, assign one to each player, and duplicate them as needed. That way I'll have a clear visual indication of who has control of/has spent each token. Using tokens for poker chips was okay as a stop-gap, but it isn't fully satisfactory. Having the radial menus of poker chips pop open from time to time is a minor nuisance. More importantly, players' collections of chips don't migrate from page to page. Which means that if I did want to draw a zone map and use character tokens players wouldn't be able to use the Fate Point interface while I have the "players" ribbon on the map. Google+ Hangouts gave us better audio latency than Tokbox, which was crucial. But there were prices paid. Google claimed pretty broad strips at the top and bottom of the page, restricting the available window space. It was a price that I was happy to pay, but perhaps Paully, confined to a laptop screen, was less happy about it. Video sometimes lagged badly, or froze, but we could play on as long as audio wasn't too badly lagged. The other players used the dice emulator happily. I stuck to my actual dice.
1338432106
Nolan T. J.
Roll20 Team
Glad to hear video worked better for you. I wonder if this is going to be the case with cross-continent games. And drawing tools... I know Riley's deep into the overhaul at this point. We'll see what happens. The other players used the dice emulator happily. I stuck to my actual dice. Me too. I roll a lot in Roll20 during livestreams, but when we were playing beforehand, I did a lot physical. I just like the feel more. I still do a bunch of personal rolls (my character in the livestreams has an... odd decision making process) via my real dice.
1338440186
Agemegos
KS Backer
To be clear, this game was as you say trans-continental, but not inter-continental. I'm in northern New South Wales, one player was 300 kilometres away in Newcastle, and the other two were 800 kilometres away in Canberra. I haven't yet tried a trans-oceanic game with the Google version or Roll20.